How dare you, Raven hyphen alternate spelling of "Simone?" Sitting there with a head full of colorful weave, the same sort of hair that was "ghetto," "tacky," "low-class" and "unacceptable" until it made it's way until the pages of mainstream fashion magazines?
Instead of hearing "black lives matter too", they hear "black lives matter over everyone's"... and no one was saying that or even insinuating that. If you cared about all lives, then discussing the specific issues black people face wouldn't bother you.
Being black and gay is one of the most unique and undesired perspectives to have, but it's mine. I have a problem with a community that I belong to, love and support choosing not to fully embrace me because I was born just as gay as I was black.
Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.
There are too many negative facts about the African continent floating around the Internet, so here's an attempt to increase the number of positive writings on the continent. Let your perceptions be changed!
teenagers and millennials in the US have never known a world without AIDS. They live during a time where it is a treatable disease, people are living longer and suffer fewer complications. As a result, there's a lack of urgency and more complacency than ever before. The decrease in comprehensive sex education programs in schools have contributed to an increasing number of youth living with HIV in the US, many of whom do not know that they are infected.
Equating some imaginary white struggle with the contemporary black experience in America just shows a superficiality, a banality that while, perhaps not racist in itself, is certainly unserious and unworthy of someone who considers himself an opinion maker.
The "feel good" factor of the victory by the prison debate team is undeniable. However, to dismiss it once the media stops covering it would be a mistake. Beyond personal testimonies of the inmates, their story is important for at least three distinct reasons:
Black Gifted and Whole is a revolutionary attempt to change the narrative of Black gay men across the world.
I think it's so important to recognize that what you do online can impact you offline. Gerod and his friends lost their jobs for what they call "trolling" online. They can claim not to be racist all day long, but the proof is in the pudding.
About mid-show I realized that there was not a single black person. Not one. I tried to push the feeling away but as the show went on I became more and more uncomfortable.
If we are going to honestly contend that Black Lives Matter, we -- the American public in general, and the practicing physician in particular -- must acknowledge, claim, and work to fix the dangerous implicit biases as well as the rigged social structures that preferentially kill people of color. As it stands now, we are all complicit.
Ben Carson's fervent backers see all of this as the prescription for a new type of White House -- and better still, a change in the substance and style of governance. It will, of course, be nothing short of a colossal disaster and turn government into a laughingstock.
It's time to take a leap of faith and start something when your gut tells you that you have to. If you listen to that burning passion deep down and you have at least one other person who will join you and you're crazy enough to think you can change the world, it's time to answer the calling.
The juvenile justice system is supposed to emphasize education, guidance, and rehabilitation, not punishment. But, in my experience, the system emphasized punitive measures over any attempt at real rehabilitation.
If I'm not really familiar with Gaga and our interests are probably quite different, what in the world could I possibly have in common with her? The commonality that links me and Lady Gaga is this: We were both raped. And we both seem to find some healing in the telling of our story.
The Million Man March showed that we could come together and love each other. The legacy that what we established on that day needs to be analyzed, because if we can do it for a day, we can do it for a week, a month, a year, and that is the beginning of a brand-new reality of a Black life.
While I advocate for the detection of victims of IPV in health care settings, it is even more important that each of us in this society, as neighbors, friends, parents, and siblings, become aware of this atrocity in our midst, and pledge the abandonment of bystander status when it comes to stopping violence.
As incidents of police violence against people of color continue at an alarming pace, more and more people are refusing to tolerate these atrocities and have, instead, ignited conversations about transforming policing and overcoming systemic racial injustice.
Black Voices continues to celebrate Black Music Month by recognizing seven CDs in the gospel genre by African American artists. These spiritual gems are some of the most overlooked works in gospel music, but BV Blogger Jawn Murray chose them as the seven projects every music lover must have!
Kim Burrell's 'Everlasting Life' (Tommy Boy/1998): Like Van Gough and Picasso, Kim Burrell's 'Everlasting Life' is considered by most musicians and singers as a priceless piece of art. Burrell was able to take her jazz-fused, raspy alto -- and all its acrobatics -- and sing an assortment of songs in a genre-blurring style. Cleverly not allowing the intricate vocal arrangements to be overshadowed, Burrell weaves in and out of energetic numbers such as 'I'll Keep Holding On' and mid-tempo grooves like 'Over and Over, Again.' Burrell's jazz appreciation is on display as she sings about God's goodness on 'I Found Him' and 'Lift Jesus.' She also mesmerizes on ballads like 'Prodigal Son,' 'Oh Lord' and 'Holy Ghost,' where her voice and the complex vocal choices she often makes captivates listeners. A classic!
JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise – 'Live: The Praise...The Worship' (Light Records/2005): There has been a separation of the soulful Sunday-morning sounds of the black church and the new-age Praise & Worship movement. On 'Live: The Praise...The Worship,' JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise finally capture the best of both worlds and find a musical balance that is not only affective, but also births songs that will be anthems for years to come. The CD kicks off like a worship service, and the energetic 'You Are So Awesome' sets the tone for what's to come. 'Incredible God,' the CD's breakout hit, is a celebratory ballad that speaks to God's goodness. The Connecticut-based choir gets contemporary, with help from Jonathan Nelson on 'Shift This Place,' while his brother Jason Nelson's matchless tenor shines on 'Oh Holy Lamb.' 'Live: The Praise...The Worship' is a call-and-response CD with material that listeners can sing along to and invoke the spirit of Sunday morning into their personal space. One of the best choir records released in the last five years!
Coko's 'Grateful' (Light Records/2006): As one of the music's most underrated voices, Cheryl Clemons, professionally known as Coko, shines in her solo gospel debut. The SWV front woman, best known for belting R&B hits like 'Weak,' 'Anything' and 'Rain,' sings sacred songs on 'Grateful,' a Grammy-nominated collection of great gospel material. Likely the best gospel recording by an R&B singer since Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace,' Coko delivers better than she ever has on this ambitious studio record. She's impressive on the remake of the Tramaine Hawkins' classic 'Look at Me,' and cleverly tackles The Clark Sisters' 'Endow Me' with the help of fellow R&B stars Faith Evans, Fantasia and Lil' Mo. Coko's soprano soars on the powerful 'Hymn Medley,' while her enchanting tone is showcased on the Donald Lawrence-produced 'Holy.' Whether you're stomping your feet to 'Clap Your Hands' or bobbing your head to the R&B-friendly title track; this CD features a variety of offerings and all of them are good! A must-have.
VaShawn Mitchell's 'Promises' (Tyscot/2007): While many of his peers are recording material with mainstream urban influence, VaShawn Mitchell writes and sings songs that are meant to be sung in church. On 'Promises,' Mitchell captures every aspect of an individual's personal relationship with God, from giving him an energetic 'Crazy Praise' to the declaration ballad 'I'll Just Lift My Hands.' The emotional 'I Worship You' tells a story of God's omnipotence, while on 'Passed Over Me,' Mitchell chants about how God's mercy kept him out of harm's way. Kim Burrell guests on 'Over and Over,' while Angela Spivey takes 'Testimony' to a whole other level. And if the praise party feel of 'For My Good' isn't enough for you, Mitchell gives you a good Holy Ghost experience with his 'Chicago Bump' as well.
Lexi's 'A Praise in the Valley' (Holy Music/2005): After years of recording R&B-friendly contemporary gospel CDs, Lexi found her niche with 'A Praise in the Valley,' a solid live recording of both Praise & Worship and Sunday morning-suited material. On the disc, Lexi brings forth the complete church experience and songs such as 'I've Been Redeemed,' 'He Got Up' and 'Testify, Lexi offers songs that listeners can sing along to. The contemporary Christian ballad – that's what they call White gospel – 'My Heart Belongs to You' featuring Nicole Binion is one of the highlights of the CD. The dynamic Kim Burrell guests on 'Not Until,' and Lexi gets help from William "Praise is What I Do" Murphy on 'Wherever the Lord Is.' Though Lexi is likely best known for being a TV personality and host, just one listen to 'Praise in the Valley' and there will be no doubt that she's a singer first!
Ann Nesby's 'In the Spirit' (Shanachie/2006): Former Sounds of Blackness singer Ann Nesby captures old-school church on 'In the Spirit.' Whether you're young or old, her interpretation of these classic gospel hits will have you clapping your hands and singing along. From Albertina Walker's 'God In Prayer' to the Thompson Community Singers' 'Rise Up and Walk,' Nesby puts her soulful stamp on traditional gospel songs in a way that channels a storefront church revival. Cleverly, Nesby delivers a devotional version of Stevie Wonder's 'Heaven is Ten Zillion Light Years Away' and even offers a funky version of Bill Withers' 'Grandma's Hands.' Whether she is singing Donald Lawrence's 'If I Can't Say a Word' or public domain hymns like 'Oh How I Love Jesus,' one really feels 'In the Spirit' on this musical journey with Nesby.
Deitrick Haddon's 'Crossroads' (Verity/2004): Deitrick Haddon is constantly reinventing himself, and usually his innovative approach to music is a little before its time. On his opus 'Crossroads,' Haddon pairs the musicianship of soul icons like Stevie Wonder and pop idols like Michael Jackson with good ole gospel numbers. The energetic 'God is Good' is a Praise & Worship and Dance Ministry favorite, while the Detroit-bred singer channels the King of Pop on 'U.N.I.T.Y.' Haddon croons like the best R&B balladeers on tracks like 'What Love,' 'Won't Stop Praying' and 'God Didn't Give Up,' while taking a more traditional gospel approach to the churchified 'Prayer Changes Things' and 'Had Not Been,' which features one of his musical mentors, Rance Allen. Overall, 'Crossroads' embodies its album's title, an immaculate blend of both mainstream music and traditional gospel both merged together by Haddon's heavenly tenor.
Check out Jawn Murray's other Black Music Month's picks: